When 34-year-old Atticus first met his husband, they took things slowly before fucking. “There was a lot going on in each of our lives that gave us a connection,” he explains. “We were still figuring ourselves and our preferences out.” When they did start getting down and dirty, they came to a realization: Atticus is a kinky sub who generally prefers to bottom, whereas his partner is a “mostly vanilla” guy… who also loves to bottom.
On paper, they’re totally sexually incompatible, yet 12 years later, they’re still going strong.
This might come as a surprise. Even a brief scroll through Grindr will flag countless “hung tops” and “sub bottoms” on a grid of faceless, oiled-up torsos. Even guys who self-identify as “versatile” often have a preference when it comes to fucking and being fucked, the implication being that two bottoms can never make it work.
But according to gay erotica author P.B. Breckinridge, this is “a bunch of shit — if you keep things creative in the bedroom, listen to what your guy needs and give it to him, it will work.” In their eyes, bottom-on-bottom banging is actually the sexual gold standard. “Us bottoms really know how to please other bottom guys because we know what our boipussies enjoy,” they explain.
Whether you’re fisting, rimming or fucking with a strap-on, there are plenty of ways to ensure maximum anal pleasure without dick-in-ass penetration. Look hard enough and you’ll find porn creators trying innovative solutions, too — in this 2019 clip of performer Gabriel Cross, he shares a double-ended dildo with a fellow horny bottom.
Depending on what gets you off, there are plenty of other non-ass-centric options, too: from blow jobs and hand jobs to BDSM and mutual masturbation, not all sex needs to be about penetration. Atticus says his sexual go-tos are “toys, hands, pills and most importantly, foreplay.” Exploring non-penetrative pleasure even taught him about the joys of nipple play. “It’s now a regular part of our sex life, and I never would have figured that out without trying new things,” he says, explaining that breaking free from the top-bottom script can actually spice things up.
Not everyone is willing to make it work sexually, though. “Bottom-on-bottom hookups are really difficult unless one of you becomes more dom,” Sam, a pseudonym, tells me via DM. “I recently ran into a situation with a guy on Grindr who had a huge ego, and thought he could change my sexual preference through manipulation.” Sam is an out-and-out bottom, but this guy remained convinced he could subtly persuade him to top. Tired of having his boundaries challenged, Sam blocked the guy. “Lesson learned — two bottoms together can’t work,” he concludes.
But especially for kinky, open or polyamorous partners, this isn’t true. “When I first started dating my partner, he was the top and I was the bottom exclusively,” says Subby Shibe, a kinky Twitter user who self-describes as a “fussy diaper boy.” “However, with some communication, we figured out that we both wanted to be the bottom. We both decided to make it work, because we love each other.” There are other layers at play here, too — Shibe is a cuck who loves to watch his partner be fucked by other people, so it’s not always on him to top.
When it comes to other couples navigating the bottom-on-bottom dynamic, he also recommends “toys or a third partner.” “I don’t think it’s true that two bottoms can’t work together at all,” he concludes. “I think more people are coming to realize that.”
Chastity cage fetishists are worth a mention here, too — when your dick is locked up, you become a bottom by default. Off-the-record, a handful of guys say being locked has encouraged them to experiment with toys, tongues, foot jobs and so much more; by embracing a kink that restricts access to their junk, they’re opening their minds to new ways of fucking, even if that means doing so with other bottoms, and even if that means their dicks — and asses — aren’t involved.
There’s also growing awareness that terms like “top” and “bottom” are nowhere near specific enough. The assumption is that “tops” are dominant and “bottoms” are submissive, but this isn’t always true, and these assumptions can get in the way of the dynamics conducive to a truly magical fuck. “Even with two bottoms, one can be more dominant than the other,” continues Breckinridge. “Needs can definitely be met, but we must be brutally honest.” Likewise, the terms “top” and “bottom” need not convey any sort of dominance or submission — they can merely mean that one person is giving pleasure and the other is receiving it. With that definition expanded, sex can mean almost anything, and bottom-bottom couples can find plenty of ways to entertain themselves.
As for Atticus, he’s learned there’s a vast spectrum of penetration preferences. “I do think most people fall somewhere in the middle, with preferences but not hard rules,” he explains. Basically, even hardcore bottoms might enjoy topping occasionally — with enough communication and the right partner, at least. “I’m submissive and many link that exclusively to being a bottom, but what gets me off is the pleasure I’m able to give my husband,” he concludes. “I might have to pop a pill or use a toy to give him that pleasure, but what makes me satisfied is hearing him moan in ecstasy.”